Fred Allen was
of radio’s most famous comedians.
had several series over the years from 1932 to 1949, all contained
witty and insightful
comments, many ad libbed, about life and current events. Where The
Jack Benny Show was
carefully scripted with storylines for that week (and room for
occasional and brief ad libs now and then), Allen’s show had
separate skits, satirical plays, and the famous “Allen’s Alley.”
That particular portion of the program took a topic in the news and asked for
“man in the street” style comments from a cast of characters such
as Senator Claghorn and Mrs. Nussbaum.
and Benny had a famous (and mutually enjoyed) feud about each other’s
programs where they would make snide comments about their shows. The
comedians enjoyed the feud very much and would make guest
appearances on their programs. Distance was a factor; Allen’s
broadcasts were from New York, and Benny’s were from Hollywood.
Their chances of appearing together were limited, but they made the
most of them.
the two programs, Allen’s could be a little more cerebral with its
topical nature. The
ad libs could come from unexpected places in the performance, and
Allen was not afraid to ride with them for a few lines. Because of
this, the Allen show would often have trouble staying in its allocated time
slot and would have to rush to close that week’s program.
Allen’s autobiography Much Ado About Me is
available at The Internet Archive
* * *
These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr.
Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when
the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Digitizing his collection of reel
tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American
volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors.
The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology
and skills are the Old Time Radio
Researchers and a small group of transcription disc
preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of
the Turning Table."
November 21, 2021 Subject:
Browsing Joe Hahn mem. Collection
Wow. Hearing New to me episodes of Fred Allen and I am finding other old time programs with completely novel shows too, all from Joe Hahn collection. Lone Ranger on Duffys tavern was so cool. Maybe there are some other recordings out there yet to be uploaded.Thanks